Racing for Fun and Hope

May 06, 2011
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Seven years ago I remember discussing the idea of a Community 5K Run with the manager of The Chicago Marriott Southwest in Burr Ridge. We both enjoyed running and agreed that a town as special and “scenic” as Burr Ridge could broadly benefit from a family event that involves local retailers and businesses, professionals, parks and neighborhoods in its surrounding communities. After our idea and vision were discussed with Burr Ridge’s Mayor Grasso, the Village Board approved having a Race and gave us their full support. In just a short period of time, it’s amazing how much this annual event has grown and taught me some life lessons that I feel obliged to share for future races.

I remember as a mother, coach, business owner, and personal trainer telling my sons, students, and associates that we’re going to make some mistakes and “lose” plenty of races before we win one. I still believe that to win the “big” race you have to put in time, gain experience, and then be ready to accept and embrace success. So yes, there were times I thought never again and doubt begins to over ride the incredible dedication and work of so many responsible for a successful outcome. Not sure there’s an easy answer except let it go; it’s never really about one person …and release those fears as the sun will shine. Positive people produce positive results and this is measured by more than just money I believe it’s called believing in oneself and your cause. This race and its dedicated committee and volunteers continue to show their support
for non for profit organizations that serve adults with disabilities, including those that raise service animals and those focused on autism spectrum disorders.

This year the Loyola Center for Health in Burr Ridge will sponsor the 5K race to raise awareness and raise funds for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at its Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital at Loyola. I am amazed that our 5K race started with about 100 runners in 2004 and is now expecting nearly 800 participants this year.

It was six years ago that Lisa Geiger from Downers Grove gave birth to triplets. Each weighed less than 4.5 pounds and all three spent the first five weeks of their lives in the Neo natal Intensive care unit at Loyola University Medical System. Despite the early challenges, the triplets are happy six year olds today, and the entire Geiger family will participate in the seventh Burr Ridge 5K Run. Lisa agrees there is not a day that goes by when she doesn’t thank everyone at Loyola Center for Health that helped her entire family. A quote from Loyola’s Dr. Muraskas sums it up perfectly… “It’s a team effort and I am proud to be a player.”

Author: suzanne